Effortless, emotional, wonderful. Who are we describing? Shakey Graves; Austin's absolute Americana artist, or Pocket Full of Crumbs AKA Mark Paiz; the man from Murrieta, CA, who may just well have turned a very good Shakey tune into a great one? In truth, both...
Pocket Full Of Crumbs is an intriguing proposition. We discovered it flicking through Bandcamp and stumbling upon the album Vocal Notes, a rough draft selection of Paiz's songs. What's so special about that, you might ask? That's not worth plastering on a webpage. But it is, for one listen to a track like All Week - even in this rough format - shows the promise of a man on Shakey's level.
So we thought, let's test him and boy has he delivered (both in choosing the song we wanted him to choose/making a wonderful cover). Here were all his choices followed by a few reasons why he did so. Thank you Shakey, and thank you Pocket Full of Crumbs...
I chose to cover The Donor Blues because I felt like I was able to play around with the sound more. I really love simple songs and from what I've heard from listening to the original version, Shakey Graves only recorded with an acoustic guitar and his voice. That's usually how I record most of my songs before I even start thinking about playing around with them, so in a way this song felt like it was already along the lines of my thought process.
I'd never heard of Shakey Graves until i was given the choice. The way he sang this song was a completely different route to what I would've taken. I don't think I've ever covered anything with a folk tone so it was nice and refreshing to step out of my comfort zone. I wanted to cover it with my own twist and the way I would've gone at the song if it was me writing it. I'm pretty stoked on how it came out!
We get it; listening to Kurt Vile in 2018 so isn't cool anymore. Neither is buying records or meeting friends in a coffee shop, I mean get a life. But what is cool is this new cover from Milo's Plane's drummer Harry Sherrin - AKA Flat Rufus - who proves that Kurt could make better music if he had an ounce of imagination. Burn!
*The feelings of a distressed writer at fear of telling people what's cool or not*.
We're not going to say you should stop buying Kurt Vile's record and replace them with the Snapped Ankles' LP. Flat Rufus released his debut (great) single Palm Readers back in July and as he's a nice guy, so he agreed to cover a song for us. He went for Kurt Vile to show you that his music can actually be very good and enjoyable. Thanks very much for this Harry, the indie music circles needed it.
We gave Harry a first list which he didn't like and so he asked us to give him three more choices. So we did.
I figured I’d go for the Kurt Vile track over the others because I’ve always loved the lyrics – they sort of make you wanna smile and sob at the same time. I also loved the idea of condensing the proggy, 8-minute original into a more concise pop song.
When we came up with this idea a few months ago, we had no idea we would receive so many banging covers. Here's 8 of the best so far, with many many more to come. Cheers!
Andrew Smith the absolute baller. This is the seciest version of Baby's On Fire on the internet. FACT. I'm melting...
SARN's rendition of this Lauper classic is in fact a song in it's own right. Flipped and yet so well recognisable. Top effort.
George Harrison said The Beatles saved the world from Boredom. Aye, try listening to Obladi Oblada Obladon't even bother on repeat. Listen here instead.
The best band name on the list, but is it the best tune? Whatever the weather this got me listening to the Rev again, so cheers hippies. Aye, it's a tune this one!
Spacemen 3 come from Rugby in England - that doesn't sound very rock 'n' roll does it. If they can, YOU CAN. And Outlaw Boogie HAVE!
Finger-bang to Frank Ocean, that's what Childish Gambino recommends. I wouldn't go that far, maybe just listen to the below by Cult Choir instead.
Our friend Jackson Reed, the Lo-Fi King. The Fannies are touring extensively in the next few months, but maybe Jackson's a better shout?
A laid-back cover of a laid-back song by one of the world's most laid-back musicians. "Laaaaaaid back".
When you hear a song that sounds like another, do you love it? Lament it? Or just think whatever? Here are 4 songs which pay tribute to one of world's most iconic pop artists of the last 35 years...Lawrence Hayward.
Here's the reason why we're publishing this. See, a few month ago we asked for a phone interview with the man Lawrence Hayward himself. He recently released a new album with Go-Kart Mozart. Belting. We had so many questions we wanted to ask.
But then we thought, who the fuck reads long interviews about depressed artist who always say the same stuff?
So we had this idea instead; let's get him listen to these 4 tunes instead and then we could have a conversation. It did not happen. Yep, no one got back to us. Shame really, it could have been fun and different. But then who are we? Who the fuck are you? And who the hell is Lawrence and his management?!
Anyway, here are the 4 tracks we wanted to talk about. *Sob*
Teenage Fanclub - Belt
It would have been the first one. An obvious tribute (Belt - Felt, get it?) and a great song which has all the elements that made Felt famous. Lawrence would have said; "well, I really like Teenage Fanclub because they're the greatest band in the world", or summat' like that.
Girls - Lawrence
Another obvious tribute and again, a great song. Lawrence is darker than Belt from the Fannies and more obscure, too. Lawrence actually met Christopher Owens and they had a nice chat in a park talking about drugs and gay people. It's on YouTube somewhere. "What a great day in the park we had", he'd say.
The Feelies - It's Only Life
Ah, the Feelies, a great indie pop band! Somewhat forgotten and of course nothing without Felt. Lawrence likes The Feelies and we go on talking about that one time they met in America. Probably. Psst...it works with most songs on their third album Only Life.
Thin White Rope - Exploring The Axis
I didn't know that this band existed until I googled "Band influenced by Felt". Their name was on a list. At first, I thought it was shit. Then the dude started to sing and it matched the melody and style perfectly. Good find. But we think Lawrence would have mixed opinions on this one, " a bit too close to my own style", or something so pretentious. We'll probably use this song for the feature we'll do on Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground. LOL.
*We'd like to thank Lawrence's management for not accepting our interview. Cheers*
After King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Hypocrite in a Hippy Crypt - an anonymous one man project that started life in a dorm basement at Indiana University in 2010 - wins "worst band name in history" (alongside Okilly Dokilly, a metal band inspired by Ned Flanders from The Simpsons).
But a long list of shit band names is just about as relevant as publishing a live-feed report of any festival, and as interesting as a new Eric Clapton record (it's time to stop, Eric). What we have here is far more valuable.
Hypocrite in a Hippy Crypt has a new album out called "Vegas Of Feeling" and it's the best medicine against depression.
As usual, we gave this secret man (his name is actually Mike and he's working in a shoe shop, but doesn't want you to know) a list of three choices:
I choose this song because the melody has always really stuck out to me along with the amazing keyboard solo. I knew it would be a challenge to cover also and it proved to be tough to record.
He's the man from Halifax, Nova Scotia, who is responsible for one of the internet's most outrageous back catalogues of sunshine Rock 'n' Roll - it's Harley Alexander. Fresh from this summer's epic release Woof, Alexander has taken time out to create a very special cover for Third Outing.
But before we dive into the cover tune, there's a few things we've got to say about this guy. First of all; Woof really is a banging record. If we could we'd give this man an orchestra, a million dollars and a recording suite at his disposal - we sure he'd probably create one of the most majestic albums of all times. But with the help from Sports Day and a couple of friends, well he really hasn't done so badly at all.
As we said when we first came across Alexander back in 2015, "to write about the entire genius of Harley Alexander is not possible in one short article. The best thing to do is introduce you to the great Harley Alexander and allow you to revel in music opinion which makes sense, and the latest release which makes even more sense".
But that's enough admiration. Anyway, we gave him 3 choices:
Alexander chose to cover The Buzzcocks Boredom, so here's why he chose what he chose followed by the cover itself. It's a baller...
After reading through the lyrics to each song I ended up choosing The Buzzcocks 'Boredom'. The energy of the original is pretty hectic and cheeky, but beneath the posturing there's some pretty heartbreaking words that really resonated with me, more so than the other options. So, I found a slower tempo and changed the key to help me frame the words more honestly in my own feelings and took it from there.
*DISCLAIMER* Next time you send an email to a music site with an idea for a fishing-related article, please, just don't bother or we will actually publish it. All the best Chris. Big love, Third Outing
If you want to get children involved and in touch with nature, there’s no better way than fishing. Although children can be as temperamental as the fish biting, there are a few steps you can take to make these early trips more fun and enjoyable, if not just for the kids of for yourself as well.
Keeping it Short and Simple
If you are taking your children fishing for the very first time, or they are still new to it, then keeping the fishing trips to a half day maximum is ideal. Even this could be too long when you are showing your kids how to get started fishing. Children tend to lose their concentration after an hour so even half day might need to be broken up into chunks. If they are bored and they wish to run around and throw stones in the water, then you should let them do this before they decide to retake hold of their rod. The area where you go is also crucial and can include beaches which are great for when they are bored and wish to build a sandcastle or two, and then there are jetties and lakes. Any fishing from boats or kayaks should be left until much later because if your kid can’t run around, it will end up a real dampener.
Child-Friendly Gear and Equipment
Depending on the age of your kids will determine what type of equipment they can use. There’s no use handing them a full-sized rod and reel and expecting them to be able to cope because before you know it, it will be in the water. Many companies specialize in kid-specific fishing equipment. This can range from basic poles for the younger ones to rods and reels which are made smaller and cater for their smaller hands and strength. You should also explain the different lures and live baits etc. The last thing you want is a spinner smacking you in the back of the head. The bait you use for your kids can have an effect on them. Some might not like a work to be slid onto a hook. Frozen bait is ideal in this situation as is soft plastic options if your kids are capable of casting and using a reel. Bait which smells might be a turn off for them, so it is better to choose the safer options
The Perfect Spot
Fishermen like a challenge to catch the best fish. Unfortunately, kids don’t have this insight into what makes fishing such a great pastime. They want to catch fish almost immediately, so on the first few trips, you need to choose locations which do have plenty of easy to catch fish. Stocked pools are ideal and also tend to have the types of fish which are easier to catch such as Perch, Crappie, Panfish or Sunfish. If you have a bite before they do, you can ask your kid to help you reel the fish in. Once they feel the excitement of a kicking fish and then see you land it, they will be all the more excited to do it with their own rod.
Packing a Child-Friendly Picnic Lunch
This can be a deal breaker for kids, so you need to cater to their cravings. They do like to eat outdoors, and when by water. However, a couple of plain sandwiches just won’t do it. A heft picnic lunch which has all their favorites and maybe an odd treat they love, but they only get when fishing. Once they’ve had their fill of their favorite foods and snacks, they’ll love the idea of eating outdoors more often. After this, there is the stage when kids need to understand one of what they have caught might be their dinner. Making sure they are okay with eating a freshly caught fish is a good idea, so ask them if you should let it go or take it home for dinner.
Relaxing and Having Fun
Although you love fishing, this time is about making it fun for your kids even more than your enjoyment. You have the area set for plenty of biting fish and their favorite outdoor lunches packed, but that is only half the battle. Making a competition out of fishing can be a great way of holding their interest. If they know, they can win a game, and kids love games they will try their hardest to beat you at your own sport. It might be worth doing the things dads do all to often and cheat a little to make sure they do win more times than not.
The Band Ice Cream have been described as "terrible human beings playing terrible music." Very harsh! But if that doesn't make you want to listen to this record, we don't know what will. Full stream of Numbskull is below...
So, if you thought FIDLAR were great then just wait a bit 'til you've listened to Numbskull, the band's second outing after Classically Trained which came out last year. Here's what we wrote: The Band Ice Cream clearly are a melting-pot pop band, toying with the genres and the textures. It's a good sound which matches a very good image. Here's what we think: It's a good summer record, it gives you the kick you need when at a shitty party where nobody's having any fun. Put on the album. Here's what we love: the punk attitude with good melodies and catchy hooks to match. Here's what we suggest: getting drunk while listening to this album. Trust us. And finally here's what we think is the best track: Softboy Rock and Your Guy.
If you want to buy this album, follow this link. Numbskull is out via Urban Scandal Records.
Let's be honest here for one minute: the World Cup is boring unless you're a fan of Colombia (oh ayeeee?). To restore your faith in the greatest sport of all time, here are some clips about football; step overs, sweaty hands and beers.
Echo Pressure - 1998
Let's start with a brand new clip from our boy Echo Pressure. It's about the 1998 WC, which was great because France won. France had the best players and Lilian Thuram. And when you have Lilian Thuram, it's like having N'Golo Kanté - you can't lose, can you?
Philippe Katerine - Rouge et Noir
The funniest French singer of all time made this song to get free tickets for the semi-final of a game of his hometown team. He got the free tickets, but he did have to work a shift in a burger van!
Ant & Dec - We're On The Ball
A classic, right? Not played on the radio during drive time anymore (sorry Ant).
Fettes Brot - Fussball Ist Immer Noch Wichtig
Aye, they got knocked out early on but nothing brings a tear to the eye more than this unofficial German world cup anthem! Eins, twei, drei, fucking hell Thomas Mueller what happened you div?!!
New Order - World In Motion
Manchester, football and music: New Order. That's it. If you're at the Indie disco this week give it your best John Barnes, okay?
Del Amitri - Don't Come Home Too Soon
Love a PESSIMISTIC Scot during the world cup. Well, at least back in the day they used to qualify, now Amitri's song would be called "Don't Come Home"
The Lightning Seeds - Three Lions '98
Another classic, it's obvious, but it doesn't get old, does it? I wonder which bright spark put the word 'Kunst' on the back of the German shirt? Arty.
Trust Fund - Football
A bit of indie in this list. Though Trust Fund doesn't like Third Outing, we like his clip and here it is. We've forgotten why they hate us, can you remember? We're sorry Trust Fund, honest. Blahhhhh!
Equipe de Foot - Faking Poetry
Another French band from Bordeaux. Their name: Équipe de Foot (no need for translation here), it means 'Red Wine'.
And for the last one. Our favourites for the tournament...
It wasn't so long ago here on Third Outing that we discovered the incredible Sammy Hale. His stand-out track Hollywood Hills from debut album Post Cult gave us renewed hope - folk rock 'n' roll is still alive and well in the US of A today. But we only got to know one side of the Nashville hero, there's something else to talk about...
Sammy Hale AKA Shane Graybill also has a freaky electronic side, too. Playing under the name Cult Choir, Graybill has developed quite the prolific back-catologue of tunes that shows a different side to the folk man Sammy Hale. So much so, that Cult Choir have delivered us an absolute covers curve ball, and one of the best we've had to date.
Now, here the usual rules don't apply - because Shane is an absolute baller and informed us that he was desperate to do a Frank Ocean cover, there was only ever going to be one choice. Here's what he went for followed by the all important why (and, oh! Check out more from Cult Choir in particular last year's Haunted House Party release):
Cult Choir is where I do my electronic, weird, beat and synth stuff - so I've chosen the song "Ivy" by Frank Ocean. I only got around to listening to his sophmore album "Blonde" late last year and it immediately struck me as something very personal - without genre or any type of limitations during the songwriting and recording process. Frank has such a beautiful voice - so I know a lot of people are going to say I didn't do this song justice and I probably didn't - but I love the album so much. I rarely do covers, but have been wanting to do a Frank Ocean cover for a little while now. My friend Mike Heller of the band Smoky Willows whom I've worked with a lot in the past helped me out with some of the bass, synth and mellotron sounds - he's the best.
Back in 2015 when we first heard SARN's dreaming words "Go Tell it To A Wall", we were converted - this style is unique and John Vanderslice is unique. 3 years later he never ceases to amaze us. On the back of the fantastic new release HELLATRIPPPIN, SARN has attempted to do what no other cover star has done for Third Outing so far - to create the ultimate original cover. How does that work, you ask? Well, here's how SARN got on.
The usual rules apply - this time we gave SARN a choice of three very special covers. Here's what he chose and why, let me tell you, as far as covers go - this one is one of the most unique of all time. The selection is:
I thought I could do more with Girls Just Want To Have Fun creatively given the song is so well known and the melodies are recognizable. I knew I didn't want to do a straight cover and I knew there was no way in hell I could ever do a Sparklehorse song justice - they're one of my favorite artists ever!
Good news, if you love this cover just as much as we do then check out the very latest release from SARN called HELLATRIPPPIN. Recorded at The Tiny Telephone in Oakland, California, and released by Deathbomb Arc - SARN's unqiue spoken word delivery and cutting melodies make for one hell of an interesting record...
The Streamer, ‘Top-Down Listening’, and Musical Socialism
By Ben John
The change in music listening platforms from iPods and mp3 devices to online streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music has changed the way in which people listen to music more significantly than any other platform change since vinyl. Whilst it is well established that new technology has allowed more people access to creating music (even easier when most people pirate software anyway – I’m looking at you, Lorde) the way that streaming makes people’s listening habits more egalitarian is not often talked about.
Music streaming means that people are inclined to listen to new music in a ‘top-down’ way. This means that instead of buying an album and listening to it from start to finish, they will search for an artist and when faced with a list of otherwise equal song titles - the modern streamer will differentiate them in a way previously impossible - and that is by the play-count on the tracks. They will begin with the most popular tracks and work their way down from the top.
I know from personal experience, and from talking to other music listeners, that in many cases this ‘working down’ will last only a few songs. This normally leaves the streamer with a broad range of known artists, but only a shallow depth of intimacy with those artists. I may have 1000 artists on my Spotify, but likely only have a couple of songs for each artist (with few notable exceptions).
This is markedly distinct from the listening habits of older generations who listened in what could be described as from the ‘bottom-up’. They would buy an album, and listen to it all, finding their personal favourites by actually listening to all of the songs. They found the best tracks by surprise on their first listen. The streamer won’t stumble across their favourite track - they will let the algorithm find the most popular ones, and take their pick from that.
The digital listener demands: “Give me what you got!”, then takes the best one or two tracks from that artist to add to their ultimate playlist(s) before moving on. A good modern example might be Stormzy. How many lovers of ‘Shut Up’ would really know the name of any of his other songs?
What are the implications of this?
1 - Music listening is shallower
The first and most obvious implication is that digital listeners are potentially missing out on some great songs in the back-catalogues of each and every artist that may, and probably do contain, some potential classics that the algorithms do not bring to the top for the very reason that no-one is listening to them. It creates a cycle where the popular tracks get more popular, and the forgotten gems stay forgotten to everyone other than those who commit to plodding through the hundreds of un-featured songs available beneath the surface.
It is easy to observe this phenomenon in live performances. I can’t count the number of gigs that I have been to where the majority of the crowd is familiar with one or maybe two of the songs, and the rest are new to their ears. I would be lying if I claimed to not have been one of these people many times. From the 2014 Mobb Deep concert that I attended had a crowd that only got truly animated for the last song: ‘Shook Ones Pt. II’ to the 2018 Verge Collection gig that only started grooving for ‘Our Place’.
The scary thing is that this phenomenon actually also seems to be working retroactively: it shapes our taste in older artists as well. A 1970s listener would have been much more likely to have a deeper knowledge of Earth, Wind and Fire’s songs but nowadays your average streamer would be able to name ‘September’, ‘Boogie Wonderland’ and ‘Let’s Groove’.
2 - Music listening is broader
It also means that people listen to a greater number if unique artists. We have wider and more inclusive music consumption habits, and this is where ‘musical socialism’ comes in. More than ever, individuals and smaller off-label artists are able not only to release their music, but to actually be heard, even if it is only one or two of their songs.
Listeners are not only exposed to more artists, but streaming means that they actually listen to more. It is one thing for access to making music to be more equal (like we also saw with punk bands in the late 1970s, for example) but it is another thing for the consumption of music to be more equal. With these two factors, the modern musical landscape looks a lot more socialist than the oligopoly of the past.
3 - Music is more collective: it is more about the genre than the artist
Whereas in the past we saw big, seminal albums by bands like Queen or Nirvana, we now see movements of music made up of hundreds of small artists moving like schools of fish (from Vaporware and Synthwave, to more established electronic genres like Techno, House and Drum & Bass, for example). That is not to say that genre did not exist before, but just that it existed in a different format i.e. led by a number of major artists who more or less dictated the sound of that genre.
Collective listening is particularly salient in electronic music where a question like “who is your favourite house artist?” is sort of a silly question. It is like picking a favourite street in your favourite city: you don’t go there for that street in particular, you go there for the hundreds of streets that make up the whole city. What matters now is the collective movement, not star-studded individual acts.
What might this mean for the future?
It looks like if this trend continues we might see music progress in a more genre-oriented way with thousands of individual acts contributing to more creative and original sounds than would ever have been possible when music was being shaped by fewer, more popular artists.
Top-down listening (along with more accessible music-making technology) will actually insulate music tastes from being shaped by the whims of those artists at the top, and instead will come from the collective tastes of many, smaller music makers. Music genres will become like hives swarming with contributors that have the ability to project our collective cultural consciousness by pooling those tastes and preferences together. In this world of escalating individualism – music seems to be going in the opposite direction.
*The author was given a free CD of the new Courtney Barnett record and he then got so bored he wrote this entire piece before even finishing the album*.
Michael-James Dent AKA Outlaw Boogie has been busy writing his latest EP Five Years. He can also be found playing in various outfits across the capital such as Zooz, Hunck and Yoofs. So, it's a wonder how he has the time to do anything else. But for Third Outing - Michael-James has pulled out all of the stops by taking up his guitar and covering a genius band - Spacemen 3. Here's Walkin' With Jesus by Outlaw Boogie!
As usual we gave Outlaw Boogie a choice of three covers before asking him to choose one. Here's his big three followed by his feelings of the track. By the way, this is one of the best covers we've had to date:
I was very happy to have been given the opportunity to cover Walkin' With Jesus - not only are Spacemen 3 a favourite of mine - but it really allowed me to try something a bit different. A lot of the Outlaw Boogie material was written with an emphasis on the standard formulae of pop music, so to work on a song that is incredibly free formed and focused on creating a vibe was a real pleasure. I haven't stepped very far away from the original - which might seem a little safe - but I wanted to have fun creating this version and I definitely did!
Ever wondered what Bill Withers would sound like if he were making music right here right now? He'd be as smooth as ever. He'd ooze the same sunshine lyrics. He'd be dynamite. If Bill Withers was making music right here right now - he'd sound like New York City's very own Gyason. Who better to put the cover challenge to than the wonderfully intimate soft husk tones of Gyason Copeland?
As you will know by now we give each artist a choice of three covers before asking them why they chose to recreate the one they chose. Here are Gyason's three followed by his feeling on the track - enjoy:
I chose Affection because it was really calm. It sounds like something I should listen to on a cloudy day - it really stood out to me. I had heard of the band before but never heard this song. I liked the change of melody over the same chord progression throughout the song. Lastly, I thought that the vocal style was a good match for me. He has a very soft, almost whispering voice - that is usually my "go-to".
As we know - Jackson is a minimalist - a nostalgic being. It serves his music well and conveys his style perfectly. He's been pretty busy lately making music under his other project name Succulents - and will also be hitting the road in May on a grand tour of Canada with Mike Mikus. To celebrate, we asked Jackson to be the latest genius to recreate a number for our latest covers feature. We gave him three choices - he went for Alcooholiday by Teenage Fanclub.
(If you didn't read our first feature, we ask an artist to record a cover for us and find out what draws them to the song). For Jackson, we gave him the following tunes:
I had never heard this song before but I felt like it fit my 'vibe' more than the other tunes. It just has the sort of lazy, chilled out guitar strumming stuff going on that I can really get into. I think it's sort of a sad song. "Falling into line, but I'm doing nothing, we've got nothing worth discussing" and the title being Alcoholiday. I spent a lot of time driving around with it, thinking about the lyrics - it kind of reminds me of the feeling of going on a drug bender or something. Just like, going on vacation from your responsibilities and getting into the sauce.
He's the young lad from Hartlepool - a small town in the North East of England - who has just released his incredible debut 4 track EP Memory. Andrew Smith draws comparison to some of today's best Lo-Fi artists including Big Star and Bonny Doon. But in this, the first of a series of new cover features exclusive to Third Outing, we've challenged Smith to go head to head against one of music's greatest song writers of all time - Brian Eno. How does he level up - you decide?
We gave Smith 3 choices:
Read why Smith chooses Eno followed by his Third Outing exclusive cover of Eno's Baby's On Fire below:
I went with the Eno song because I thought it had a great melody. I think the centerpiece of the original is that really long Robert Fripp solo, but the vocal melody really appealed to me, and so I wanted to frame the song around that instead.
Look through the window: it's the opening to the world of Pittsburgh-born/Portland-based Sara Renberg's incredible new Lo-Fi Indie record Night Sands. But it's too good, it's begging - DON'T JUST DO YET ANOTHER EMAIL Q&A INTERVIEW THIRD OUTING - I want to hear a real story about Night Sands. So, to take a real view inside the music - we asked Sara to tell us a story inspired by Night Sands using the lyrics found in each track. See if you can spot them...
Everywhere, batteries are dying. There’s a parliament of teens on the driftwood, as drunk as the clouds. I wonder which of five things they will grow up to be. I wonder if they all know what to do in the event of a tsunami.
“Haystack Rock is the third tallest megalith in the world,” you said when you first brought me here, which isn’t true, but I’ve never let the fear of turning a party into an ex-party get in the way of a little fact checking. And the facts: it is a majestic upward jab of earth; in the spring and summer it is covered in tufted puffins; The Goonies was filmed here; I’ve never seen The Goonies; I found a bent penny in the grass; megalith isn’t even a word. This is a reason we are friends. One moment you are the ballerina, and I am the cop, and then we switch.
Sea anemones in the tide pools. Wild rabbits in the hedge. Ping pong in the basement, listening to a battered cassette of the Forrest Gump soundtrack.
We’re taking a break from the future for the summer. We eat sandwiches in the sand and walk by the corner store: CHEAP COLD BEER SOLD HERE. The ex-party becomes re-party and I forget that I am the only gay person in this house.
It is kind of you to bring me to the birthplace of your imagination. Now that I have these images, I can imagine you better. To confess: when I look at the ocean, I can see how I’ve been a river. When I sleep in a twin bed, I wake up in the past. When I make us coffee, we make it into the present together, and I can imagine a future where I could have a problem in front of you.
We think that speaks volumes about this wonderful record release. Lo-Fi, Indie, poetry - whatever you want to call it. Inspired by Silver Jews, Mirah, Liz Phair - whoever you want to say. This record is an inspiring example of when true poetry meets music.
Noir Boy George with Usé. Photo parispsychfest.com
Thanks to the hard work of underground record labels, tuned out bands and arists for arts sake prepared to lose mega money on fucked up non-commercial music rather than toeing the line - some of the greatest music of our time is being released right now - you just haven't heard it yet. Here's the five French projects that will switch your brain to overload...
They don't do interviews. They don't want to be commercial, make money or promote their music. Nina Harker are from Nantes and that's about all we can tell you about them. Apart from the fact that their music is from another planet, of course. Thank you Le Syndicat Des Scorpions for releasing this beauty.
JC Satan, The Villejuif Underground or Cheveu - Born Bad Records have had a successful story. While some are still milking garage rock for all its cool - like it will never dry out - the sleaziest alley cats have gone drinking elsewhere. That's where Nico, the mastermind behind Usé, is drinking. Below is a live recording of their track Amphetamine thankfully released on Kakakids Records!
Hailing from the outskirts of Paris, Jessica93 is the project of the one and only Geoff Laporte - nervous indie rock and roll expert. This is his third outing, Guilty Species, and in fairness is the one that clearly stands out. Listen below.
Bryan's Magic Tears
We introduced Bryan's Magic Tears last year, but they deserve to be on this list. The band - named after a particularly strong type of acid "magic tears" - mix fuzz with melodies. On their début everything blurs into a ghosted memory of a song. Mistiness with a clear propulsive force. It's truly a sound to haunt the senses.
Noir Boy George
We have to finish with a legend. Noir Boy George is the anti-hero, singing about frozen babies and taking drugs under bridges. His melody screams loneliness, shit cold northern towns and a grim humdrum. The soundtrack of many.
*This list was made by Old Biscuity Boyle, who came down the office with the name of these five bands.
Rule Britannia in Georgia, Atlanta
With Philip Frobos from Omni
By Steffen Armstrong
They pose with Winston Churchill in Hackney boozers, hang out with Marc Riley on 6 Music and tour with Franz Ferdinand. Then consider new LP Multi-Task as a stones throw away from the sounds of The Jam and XTC. It seems there's Rule Britannia in the great city of Atlanta, after all. Consisting of ex Balkans, Deerhunters and Carnivores, Omni's British Indie of the Deep South is more intriguing than any amount of red-eye gravy on yer' fish and chips!
But it all makes sense when you see the Trouble In Mind Records link. Home to other Third favourites such as Jack Cooper's Sandgrown and Soft Wall's No Time, there's a distinct Britishness about the labels preferred sounds. Omni slot into the philosophy very nicely, offering a wonderful hybrid of British Indie Punk staccato guitar riffs with the unmistakable classic American driving bass line - a musically geographical cross-breed of the highest degree! Take in the new record Multi-Task below and see the quick fire Q&A with member Philip Frobos.
Third: We've been telling people you're Georgia's modern version of The Jam!
Philip Frobos: Well that's very flattering, we love The Jam! Omni is Frankie and I having fun, playing the music we enjoy. Rock 'n' Roll.
How does Multi-Task compare to you last release Deluxe? You know what they say about "difficult second" albums... // I think it sounds better fidelity wise. It was definitely a more deliberate effort as well, with Deluxe we didn't really have any goal in mind to release the album. It was really interesting and fun to have to create a follow up as an obligation, I know we both enjoyed that. I do think Multi-Task stands just as firmly on its own.
Equestrian is our favourite track, what's yours? // My personal favorite at the moment is Choke.
What is it about bands and recording in remote cabins in the woods? Fassbender in Frank!! // I haven't seen that film, but I can tell you it's so nice to be away from all distractions and obligations...and to be loud!
You've both got very respectable Rock 'n' Roll pedigree with Deerhunter and Carnivores, what's your hope for Omni // I would just say it's our current band as we are no longer active in the others. It's definitely never been a side project. We're excited for the future.
What's the state of the Atlanta music scene right now? // It seems to be staying the course, we played with two bands the other night that were doing cool things, Lois Righteous and Yukons.
The Jazzy Sidney Gish
Words from Sidney Gish
By Steffen Armstrong
"I've had a passing interest in jazz for a while, nothing I've actually studied seriously, I'm okay at theory, but as a player I'm totally a baby", admits Sidney Gish. Her new record No Dogs Allowed utilises jazzy chord progressions and song structures which prove the perfect back-drop for Gish's own 'Great American Songbook' endeavor, AKA to create a golden book of timelessness. "I like listening to jazz" she continues, "but I like it best hidden in songs that are good anyway, like vegetables hidden in brownies or something".
Narrative and storytelling are Gish's trump cards. Where last year's Ed Buys Houses was the first signs of the talent, No Dogs Allowed proves it wasn't a fluke. Intrigue lies in Gish's technique; writing songs as melodies first, and then adding in lyrics that sometimes don't go with it. She bends and makes it work as a sentence, or in some cases, just ignores the process altogether and spews out the first nonsense she feels like. For example, I'm Filled With Steak, and Cannot Dance.
The track utilizes some classic 'Gishisms' from the last record, like double tracking and strong bass line clickage, both of which loosely cement the lyrical style into place. There's also a natural charm about the delivery. "I had all these VHS videos already, and I felt like it fit the best with that vibe. For me, the sparkly arpeggios hit the same kind of vibe sonically that the fake camera fuzz does visually", says Gish. Together with a jazz inspired approach to chord structure and the importance placed on melody, there's a real effervescence to the album.
Indeed, there's continuation from Ed Buys Houses, but for the last time it seems. "What they've got in common is the work pattern it took to make them – totally inactive on the recording front for most of the year, then working through the night over winter break"...
..."After doing that for the second year in a row, I feel more motivated than ever to just get up and record, as opposed to trying to plan out an album before I make it, since that never works". Gish points towards some helpful advice from the archive of Bill Wurtz. Do things in the now, you can't hold things back, you can't create two separate worlds of creativity and storage.
Aye, turn on the radio and listen to a shit song (apart from Jona Lewie - he is a Christmas God). The same old Micky Bubbles ruining something Sinatra probably ruined himself 50 years earlier. Don't get us started on Carey - the only one we're interested in is Jim and he's not in any Christmas films this year anyway. It's all drab. So here's the alternative. And yes, this is nothing new either but we've got better taste than Rolling Stone magazine so shurrup!!! Merry Christmas and all that, go...
The Felice Brothers - Carriage (The lonesome Christmas)
One for the Country lovers, this is what we imagine is played in the Catskill Mountain Country bars where Christmas cheer is lacking. Toast Grandpa Felice!
Courtney Barnett - Boxing Day Blues (Revisited) (The indie Christmas)
A spooky, warming riff which sums up how average Christmas can be, especially after a shift in the pub (probably). We do feel sorry for that abandoned tree!
Pixies - Winterlong (The 90's Christmas)
Isn't this a nice track? The B-Side to the very warm sounding Dig For Fire, we think this could be the best forgotten winter ballad on the list. Frank Black AKA Santa?
Jonnie Common -Yippee-ki-yay, Father Christmas (The modern Christmas classic)
This is a modern Christmas classic of our times. We raved about Jonnie Common's Die Hard tribute last year, and indeed about him all of this year!
Okkervil River - Listening To Otis Redding At Home... (The casual Christmas one)
This is the tune which is all about those slow, lingering times only a Christmas holiday can offer. It's dark, it's long, it's poetic, it's beautiful, it's Christmaaaaaas?
Belle and Sebastian - Winter Wooskie (The best Christmas song)
Who's that girl? Only Belle and Sebastian could do a winter warmer like this. Trust me, this is the one which will become addictive after going through the list!
Malcolm Middleton - We're All Going To Die (The Christmas cool)
The boy with the Arab strap wins the prize for the coolest Christmas video of all time. Watch Middleton tear up the streets with some tinsel and a bell. Enjoy!!
Yes, it's that time of year again where we announce the best 11 bands and artists of 2017! We look back at some of the sounds which have inspired us to hear differently, think new thoughts and continue to be amazed by the power of music. Here's to the best of the best from the world of alternative music 2017 that have featured on Third Outing. Muchos thanks see you next year.
GK: Cigarettes After Sex
It felt natural to give Greg Gonzales the golden gloves this season given its been one hell of a ride. Cigarettes After Sex's eponymous LP came out a few month ago and they got all the reviews. As often the case with "blogs", we've been following them for a few years now and even met him in Nottingham last year. Thrilled the band are finally getting the recognition they deserve, here's the pick of the songs from the new record.
RB: Sidney Gish
A dark-horse contender in the Third Outing starting line-up, this is one of the most surprising records of the year. Like a gift from the Gods, Ed Buys Houses somehow appeared in the Third Outing stratosphere and the rest is history. We love Sidney Gish's laid back approach to music; she's the female one band version of Pavement. Listen to this time-capsule of youth in its entirety - honestly, we think she's better than the likes of Courtney Barnett.
The first notes of this record capture the Cotillon magic perfectly. There's just something so good about those vocal meet guitar lines, right? The Afternoons is strange, complex and tender. We noted the dark elements found on the record, but the more you listen, the more uplifting it feels. Alex's Room is the standout; it's a time and place where the air is becoming less oppressive and the scenery becomes more bearable.
CB: L.A. Salami
Easily one of the most influential artists this year for the Third Outing team, L. A. Salami has the art of song writing near perfected on the magnificent Dancing With Bad Grammar. Describing himself as "6 foot tall, dark skin with facial blemishes, thin, nappy hair, male, city dweller, artist, poet, on some days music maker" - this Burberry fashion man and Okkervil River support act has had a 2017 to remember.
One of the tightest and most consistent bands we've featured, Glasgow rockers SHREDD proved on Everytime We Meet I Want To Die that melody reigns supreme! We absolutely loved the second track on the EP I'll Leave It; merging Punk and Rock 'n' Roll together like no other this year. That bass line is savage, right?! The next time you're in the second city of the empire, catch 'em at The Old Hairdressers.
RM: Bonny Doon
We consider this fine group of musicians to be the 'flair players' of this year's line-up. We first came across Bonny Doon when we heard their self-titled debut EP, and like a scout who watches the young prospect grow to become world-class, it's wonderful to see how these few tracks, rough around the edges with little thought gone into recording, have ultimately shaped where the band are now.
CM: No Monster Club
"One listen through this year's No Monster Club encyclopedia, and you'll blurt out my favourite, over-used descriptor: GENIUS." - Third Outing. Aye, we were quoted on that one! Releasing one EP every month this year, the prolific Bobby Aherne has at times seemed absolutely unstoppable. With songs like Kung Fu Buffet being churned out on the regular, Aherne flies the flag for the Dublin collection in 2017.
You all know we're big fans. They're just one of England's greatest hopes, the band's band around town and real artists in the mix. Simple. The kind of band you acknowledge and deal with, Darkroom shows off YOWL's bemusing Frank Sidebottom meets Arctic Monkey's vibe, but then in truth there's nothing really to compare the Peckham punksters. Must experience live!
LM: Jack Cooper
The romantic North. Hardened faces, softened souls. It's about personality, mentality and wits. As winter crept up, Jack Cooper's solo debut became Third Outing's perfect rainy Sunday morning record. We love how the North comes across in Sandgrown portraying 9-5 mentalities and a constant battering from the seafront. Bravo! I mean, nice one t'lad.
CF: Catholic Action
We've already spoken about England's greatest hope, these lot are Scotland's greatest hopes! We told you to put your faith in a pop song and Catholic Action answered the prayers. Last year it was the rocking L.U.V which blew us away, this year it's Breakfast. They're a band who have just gotten better and better as time goes on. Nobody else is like them on this list or any other.
CF: Jonnie Common
The only guaranteed starter up top this year. Our very own Ibra and Neymar rolled into one, unrivaled in talent and Scotland's finest lyricist; Mr Jonnie Common. Since discovering Common with his Christmas ode to John McClane, we've become fascinated by his seemingly never-ending back-catalogue. With the release new single Restlessness, he is probably also the proud owner of Third Outing's very special 'track of the year' accolade. Perthshire's greatest.
The DIY specialists, deserving of a place in the starting 11. The former Hair Blair Bunchers (note excellent Peep Show reference) really impressed us with the Lucky Aide EP, especially the track Easy (Don't Be Long).
Indie Rock 'n' Roll Revivalists to the core, Remo Drive threw us right back to the late noughties earlier this year with their first full length record Greatest Hits. Yes, they make you want to start an Indie revolution!
Gifting us one of the best 'lose yourself and get smashed' records of the year with PLW VIP. Making music for movement, SWEAT chase a sexy sound, made in the wrong ways, that doesn’t add up the way it should.
MAN: Fuzzkill Records
Where do we begin but with a list of the mega bands and artists Fuzzkill Records have contributed this year? The likes of Spinning Coin, Catholic Action, Breakfast Muff, SHREDD; we've had the pleasure of interviewing them all on Third Outing. Raise your glass to Scotland's greatest party planners and this year's manager of the year!!
Photography by Brett Walker©
Curls is the new Girls
An interview with Curls
By Robin Ecoeur
It is fair to say that whatever Christopher Owens touches turns to gold. Now, I have something to confess. I learned the guitar by playing Girls' songs. And I've always wanted to ask him one thing: C/Am/F/G...it's kind of your trademark, isn't it?
"I'm a self-taught musician", Christopher tells us. "So I don't know a whole lot else, but it's great to work with different musicians that can take a basic chord progression like that and play over it". Fair enough. It's maybe too common to consider a "trademark", but I've always been fascinated with musicians who can use the same chord progressions over and over yet spark countless melodies. This is where real and true talent lies.
"We've got a solid rhythm section, solid songwriter, great in-house producer, and the single uniting goal of making these songs reach their potential"
Christopher has that talent, and with new band Curls he is once again showing it to the world. Joined by Luke Baće and Cody Rhodes, the band's début EP Vante feels very familiar and you'll swear you've heard that melody before. And you probably have. But not like that. Not like the way Owens and his new pals have managed. Because it will always have that magical touch. Always. It's still original.
Why? It's difficult to say. Owens has always been a very open artist who makes deeply personal music, full of emotion. That's also why so many people relate to his music. And at the end of the day, Curls is a continuation of Girls. But maybe just a more stable and focused band, who seems to work together a little better.
"Solid" is the term Cody Rhodes uses, and the solidarity might be key to Curls' future. They might just have found the stability needed to grow in a musically healthier way. The result might just be as good as Girls. Perhaps even better.
On social media, Christopher, you wrote "we’re all working boys too, so this won’t be about touring and PR, etc." Is that still the case? // That was the case in the beginning but things are constantly evolving. We did just get a minivan with bucket seats though! Maybe we can put it on a ship and sail it out to your wonderous island.
Cody, what musical direction is Curls taking? We're taking things one song at a time right now with no real stylistic or aesthetic destination in mind. We've been bouncing the new songs around with some friends in town that play excellent guitar and keys and are always pleased with their different interpretations.
Steely Dan-ing the songs with different players possessing diverse strengths on a song-for-song basis might be just the ticket for these new ones. That being said, we've got a solid rhythm section, solid songwriter, great in-house producer, and the single uniting goal of making these songs reach their potential.
I love the Velvet Underground vibe on Emotion. Your top 3 Velvet songs? Chris: To me, the Emotion riff came from Tommy James and the Shondels' Crimson and Clover. I like Velvet Underground the group, but to be honest, I don't own any of their records. I love Nico and Lou's solo records. // Luke: Sunday Morning, Sweet Jane, Heroin. // Cody: Gypsy by Fleetwood Mac.
Christopher, I have always wanted to ask. C/Am/F/G, it's kind of your trademark, isn't it? What's so magical about this chord progression? // I'm a self taught folk musician so I don't know a whole lot else but its great to work with different musicians that can take a basic chord progression like that and play over it. I feel like that progression is pretty common in Rock & Roll or Pop music like The Beatles.
It's Popty-Ping week here at Third Outing, and so we take a look at the four records released from the colourful series so far. They're all very different, though each has its own charm. So, check out the Welsh country's next gen of Indie bands a la Popty-Ping...
Shy and the Fight
First up is Shy and their vibrant release All That We See Or See / Breaks. The first is a powerful building ballad with great use of instrumentation. The music style itself is like a progressive folk hybrid which catches the imagination of pop music. Having seven band members helps, too. But the real standout is Breaks. The wonderful guitar melts with string accompaniment, and the melody pushes the imagination further.
The magic Mowbird are up next with their body bending Indie Rock 'n' Roll. From the Happy Active Horse Organ / Carousel release, the first absolutely gets us going. Mowbird truly deliver a fresh sound with their unique "cosmic garage" on this one. Carousel is a little more typical but still sings a punk anthem proudly, and regardless of snything proves that the group from Wrexham have got it going.
What a signing for Popty-Ping with this time-defying beauty. Hummingbird / Sofia is miniature fuzz release skill-ranking alongside the Supergrass' of the world. Hummingbird is our favourite of the two partly for the sweetness in melody sung, partly because we now can't stop singing it. Sofia is slightly different in its approach; more of a slower moving ballad, though still worth of the Trecco Beis badge.
Which means last but not least, the wonderful Gintis. Dennis / Oh My Little Malcontent is an intriguing release, and indeed the one that made us get in touch with Popty in the first place! You'll listen to Dennis and transport immediately to a heavenly worldy combination of Teenage Fanclub and The Beatles.
But then oddly, they sound like neither. For us Gintis are the most complete group from the series to date. Luckily their other releases can be found on Soundcloud, though admittedly lacking in new-releases.
Today we aim to tackle one simple question. What is the best song to have ever come out of Wales? And we're going to answer it simply. Of course yes it's by Super Furry Animals, but is it the one you're thinking?
I get it, yes. There's loads to choose from. Tom Jones and Ms Bassey will feel hard done by (thanks for reading). Stereophonics, well that was never going to happen. Goldie Lookin Chain got a consideration, and well Cerys just does radio shows now right? It can only leave us with one of the greatest Rock 'n' Roll bands of all time and definitely the greatest to come out of Wales...the capital's own Super Furry Animals. So without further ado, here's our favourite track of theirs, and therefore the best one to come out of Wales too...Hometown Unicorn. Are we right? Let us know @thirdouting.
Popty-Ping week concludes tomorrow.